NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
It is not a case of ‘there’s no plan B’ it seems there is no plan at all.
When the Isle of Man budget was unveiled last week the Celtic League were bitingly critical of some aspects of it not least the vagary surrounding a new higher (£14000) tax threshold to be (possibly) introduced next year but of more immediate concern was the decision to claw-back tax credit (Personal Allowance Credit – PAC) and phase it out completely next year.
A government Minister said:
‘For 2015/16 the PAC will be reduced to £400 and will only be paid to the elderly and disabled with taxable income of £9,500 or less. My ultimate aim remains that this will be one of the benefits eventually replaced in a new benefits system. All benefits need to be paid via the benefits system to ensure that we are making payments to those who really need the support. I will ask the Assessor of Income Tax to work with the Director of Social Security to put this in place for 2016/17 so that 2015/16 can be the last year of the PAC. For people who previously benefited from the PAC the Income Tax Division will endeavour to ensure that they claim any benefits to which they are entitled.’
What this means in real terms is a cut of 20% to the most vulnerable whilst the wheel-heeled in Manx society still continue to prosper.
Today comes another astonishing admission which is that the government is unsure if scrapping the 10% tax band and raising the threshold from £9500 – 14000 can be funded. A government spokesman commenting on this – its flagship budget announcement – to the media said that:
‘This is a political risk. I want to reach a point where nobody is paying any more but it depends on our revenues. I will do my level best but it depends on cash flow. I cannot give a commitment,’
We suggested last week that there would be losers from this budget proposal and those losers would be those on very low incomes and those on moderate to low earnings i.e. in the region £18,500 – 21000.
We had expected that it would be sometime before government itself admitted as much but it seems doubts are already becoming deep-seated in the corridors of power.
Worryingly the government say they ‘hope’ to make up the shortfall in revenue from ‘elsewhere’ but say they cannot rule out taxpayers having to pay more.
Last week the government said it had ‘balanced the books’ this week it looks as if the books are to weigh even heavier on the backs of the low paid.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur).
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